I recently wrote a post describing how my trip to Indian has caused me to reflect on life and death. It has been a very helpful excercise. It is a great thing for a Christian to contemplate the inevitable. No, it is not inevitable that I die in India, but it is inevitable that I will die: barring rapture, of course.
One thing I had forgotten in the excitement is the pain of packing and preparing. How I hate packing. How I hate buying traveler's checks. Oh, how I am dreading hauling my luggage all over India. My wife "helped" me pack, which means I could live comfortably in India for the rest of my life with all the things she stuffed into my baggage. She saw that I was going to bring two pairs of pants and three shirts and a toothbrush for three weeks and decided that she had better take over. Between us, I am certain that there is a comfortable middle.
I am also freaked out that I will be carrying on my person three times the average annual wage of the average Indian citizen. Would you feel comfortable in a strange land with the equivalent of 60 grand in your pocket? I didn't think so. As if it isn't enough that religious persecution could do me in, I have to worry about highway robbery. Death could come from planewreck, persecution, robbery, or the infamous Dehli Belly. Or, I could catch the Bird Flu. I will be riding on crowded trains, in crowded buses, and staying in who knows what kind of hotels, and I will be eating rice and curry for a month straight. You may think I am insane, but I am absolutely stoked. The gospel is worth it; the opportunity is priceless. You'd have to tie me up to keep me from getting on that plane.
I am a pastor serving in my hometown of Albertville, Alabama. The greatest evidence of God's grace in my life are my wife, son, and daughter. One look at me and then my wife will tell you that her "yes" was a modern day miracle. Otherwise, I am almost completely mundane.